Taurine has gotten a bad rap. This is mainly because it’s a common ingredient in energy drinks. Mainstream users who are well-intentioned but largely uninformed attack energy drinks as some terrible, evil invention. Often, taurine is also the subject of attack. Most of the time, its attackers have no clear idea of what taurine is or what it does. They just know it’s in that terrible energy drink. The truth is, the problem with energy drinks is the horrendous amount of sugar many of them contain. Otherwise, they’re ust caffeine and B vitamins, not much different from the morning coffee these crusaders drink every day.
What Is Taurine
So, what exactly is taurine? It’s an amino sulfonic acid that’s found in high concentrations in the muscles, heart, brain, and eyes. Taurine is not technically an amino acid. It does have an amino group, but it also has a sulfonic acid instead of a carboxyl group. In contrast, an amino acid is an acid that contains both a carboxyl group and an amino group. (1)
What Does Taurine Do
Taurine has a number of benefits, such as regulating minerals, supporting the central nervous system, and supporting health. It’s also important for hydration and to that end, it’s considered an osmolyte that’s involved in cell volume regulation. For this reason, it’s one of the nutrients that promotes water-based pumps. Also referred to as cell volumizers, this group of nutrients include such heavy hitters as creatine (the original cell volumizer), betaine and glycerol. What this means is, these nutrients pull water into the muscle cells, causing them to swell or “pump up”. The original pump products contained compounds that increased nitric oxide (or, N.O.) production only. Now, a good pump formula will include cell volumizers as well as N. O. enhancers. Additionally, new research has indicated that it plays an important role in promoting endurance. (2, 3, 4)
How To Use Taurine
Taurine can be used as a stand-alone product and is common in many pre-workouts and pure pump formulas, primarily for its cell volume benefits. It’s also common in a number of energy drinks, primarily for it’s hydration benefits.
The suggested daily dosage is up to 3000 mg in a day. It’s common to see 1000 mg dosages in various pre-workouts and pump products. (5)
Summary – Taurine For Pumps!
As you can see, taurine is not some evil ingredient. For the average bodybuilder or athlete, it can be a good addition to any well-balanced pump formula. Additionally, it’s great for hydration, even in energy drinks. It sounds like one of the good guys to me!